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Webly Wednesday: Online critique groups

May 11, 2011

Most writers want feedback at some point, especially if they aim for publishing. Some like to discuss their stories in the making, others prefer getting critiques of their finished works. Some are in local writing groups, others let friends read their stories. Whatever the case, feedback is often very useful. And in our modern day and age, we can find critique partners or groups online.

  • Book Country
    I came across the link on Fiction Groupie (whose Crit Partner Matchmaking you may also find interesting). Book Country is a site by Penguin meant to be a community where fiction writers of various genres can exchange feedback. It seems that agents and publishers can join too, and it has a nice genre map as well.
  • Critique Circle
    Sign up and put a story in the queue for comments. You can share your works with all members or exchange stories with a select few.
  • Critique.org Workshops
    Has a number of web based workshops, amongst them the link below.
  • Critters
    I think it was Nathanael Green who brought this one to my attention. Critters is an online critique workshop for fantasy, science fiction and horror writers. The site also has a lot of useful links.
  • Litique
    An online writers workshop for exchange of ideas and constructive criticism.

I am not personally familiar with all the sites listed above, but I hope that they can be of use to some of you.

Bonus links:

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2011 2:42 pm

    Ooh, I do like that genre map. That’s a little bit of fun right there.

    Writing groups can be so very, very handy for writers who are interested in improvement toward publication. I think part of the benefit, besides feedback on your writing, is getting to talk about all the sundry writing issues and ideas with other people who are passionate about it, too.

    • May 11, 2011 8:45 pm

      Glad you like it! It’s fun to explore the various genres/subgenres.
      And I agree with you. – I’m grateful for my writing group. Our latest discussion was about having a target audience (or not) and how to deal with certain kinds of comments.
      Thank you for your input! :)

  2. May 12, 2011 5:16 am

    Why do Legos make everything more fun?

    I’m leery about online writing groups. I don’t mind passing critiques back and forth online, but I do like having a face-to-face connection with someone before they rip me apart…I mean before we talk about our pieces.

    I know you’re in several groups. Are any of them online groups? I’m curious to hear what people in online groups have to say about them.

    • May 12, 2011 11:17 am

      I don’t know, but they do, don’t they? :)

      I prefer the RL connection too. It’s still easier to ask questions and talk back an forth when you are in the same room.
      I amn’t in any online groups as such, but I have done/received critique online in email correspondance. Since we don’t do much in-depth commenting in one of the groups, a member of it gave me thorough feedback of a novel that he had been kind enough to read for me through email.
      However, I think that I may join an online group when I have a novel ready to send to a publisher simply to see what others (who don’t know me at all) would think of it.
      Thank you for the comment! :)

  3. May 12, 2011 12:07 pm

    Some useful info there, M. Many thanks.

    I frequent the peer review groups youwriteon and authonomy, both of which have good and bad points.

    The biggest issue with any critique group is organising like-for-like reviews.

    It’s pointless a complete novice writer commenting on the detail of an accomplished novelist putting forward a finished work, and likewise an accomplished novelist may have forgotten how difficult those first steps were, and be overly critical.

    Just because someone asks for a critique doesn’t mean they are ready to receive it.

    • May 12, 2011 5:28 pm

      Thank you for your comment! :)
      I didn’t know youwriteon and authonomy, but I will check them out. Thank you!
      And that is a very good point indeed. Even though some pieces of advice can apply equally to unpublished and published writers alike, very often what is useful to a seasoned author isn’t at all to a novice.

      • May 12, 2011 6:31 pm

        These are both major (and very influential) peer review sites, and if used well can be very helpful.

        They are also great places to “meet” fellow-authors and strike up friendships and collaborations.

        I “met” my co-author on youwriteon and we joined forces to complete one of our books, ended uo completing the other, and now have a best-seller on our hands, with 50,000 ebooks sold before we even have an agent!

        • May 13, 2011 12:05 pm

          It sounds very efficient for a number of purposes!
          – And congratulations on doing so well with your book! :)

  4. May 13, 2011 11:35 am

    That is a curious visual representation of fiction genres. I didn’t know “horror” was considered a subset of “fantasy.” Well, I suppose some horror novels are quite fantastical . .

    Thank you for the links! just now signed up at Critters. Finding on online critique partner is one of my next writing goals . . :)

    • May 13, 2011 12:12 pm

      It’s funny you should say that because I recently had a discussion with someone insisting that Stephen King writes fantasy. I guess you can use the term as anything “not realism”, but I wouldn’t usually put horror down as a subgenre to fantasy.
      I’m glad you liked the links! I hope they will prove useful! :) Thank you for commenting.

      • May 13, 2011 12:47 pm

        Hmm . . I’m pretty familiar with Stephen King and his horror novels. And I know what the fantasy genre is. King, to my knowledge, doesn’t write about wizards and warlocks and fairies and dragons. ;)

        I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a fantasy genre writer- that’s over my head.

        • May 13, 2011 12:50 pm

          Yeah, that was pretty much the point I made as well. I’ll go as far as to say “fantastical elements”.

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